Personal and Firm Drivers of Export Entrepreneurship

Personal and Firm Drivers of Export Entrepreneurship

Antonio Navarro-García (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain), Jorge Arenas-Gaitán (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain) and F. Javier Rondán-Cataluña (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8348-8.ch023


This research has two main objectives. Firstly, this research contributes to defining the concept of export entrepreneurship from a theoretical point of view, and this is a contribution taking into account the scarce and fragmented literature published about this topic. Furthermore, the authors explain export entrepreneurship dimensions – speed, degree, and scope. Thirdly, we empirically analyze the internal drivers of export entrepreneurship from the resource-based view—RBV—and the Schwartz' value approach. A conceptual model is proposed and tested with a multi-sectorial sample of 212 Spanish exporting companies. The results reveal that export entrepreneurship is positively affected by internal factors, such as export commitment, managers value, and experiential and structure resources. The results offer academic and managerial contributions for the field of export activities.
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Theoretical Background

To be an entrepreneur implies creating or developing a new business – in this case exports. Exportation vs. non-exportation centered the initial debate on entrepreneurship and export activity, trying to get to know the business or personal factors which lead a firm to initiate –entrepreneurially –external trade operations compared to those that do not (e.g., Ursic & Czincota, 1984; Leonidou, 1995; Katsikeas, 1996). In this way, some authors conceived that firms which decide to export develop a business innovation process - entrepreneurship – which influences its business performance (Simmonds & Smith, 1968; Samiee, Walters, & DuBois, 1993). However, the literature on EE has progressively centered itself on export firms. The work of Yeoh and Jeong (1995) helped to concentrate the debate. They pointed out that export firms can be differentiated according to their entrepreneurial orientation. This can be moderated by the structure of the export channel and by the environment in which the firm works. Thus, while some exporters tend to be proactive, innovative and have less risk aversion in the search for business opportunities in foreign markets, others tend to be reactive or conservative.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Managers Value: Stable criteria that managers use to evaluate their own and others’ behavior across various situations.

Structure Resources: Resources of the firm associated to structure.

Export Commitment: The attitude - willingness – of the decision makers to allot appropriate financial, human and managerial resources to the export activity.

Export Entrepreneurship: Describes the ability to recognize or create an opportunity and take action in international markets.

Schwartz’ Value Approach: This theory addressed extensive queries about values, such as: how are individuals’ primacies influenced by social practices? How do individuals’ priorities guide their behavior and selections? And, how do value priorities influence thoughts, attitudes, and actions in political, religious, environmental, and other domains? Through his studies, Schwartz determined that ten types of universal values are present: achievement, benevolence, conformity, hedonism, power, security, self-direction, stimulation, tradition, and universalism.

Experiential Resources: Resources of the firm associated to experience.

Resource-based view: It is a foundation for achieving competitive advantage of a firm, lies mainly in the application of a collection of appreciated palpable or immaterial resources at the firm's disposal.

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